There is a way we view our world. We know the players, the backdrop, the goings-on. But sometimes something so unexpected happens that it shakes up that orderly arrangement. This rearrangement, brought on by unexpected news makes you question all of the aforementioned parts of your seemingly orderly life.
Acrylic on Canvas, c. 2015 Stephanie Rose Bird
I received some unexpected news yesterday. A friend of the family has been suffering with breast cancer, quite quietly, I might add. I had no idea, which also causes a variety of responses ranging from guilt to shame, and then inevitably the question rises, What to do?
The friend of the family has just always been there, at least for the past 12 years or so. She is an indirect friend, meaning our children our good friends, and by default we have been brought together on many occasions. Yesterday I found out that this lovely person, who has always been so helpful, so open and welcoming, has breast cancer. She has been enduring chemotherapy, and in the process she has lost her lovely blond hair--all of it.
So now I am re-examining things because that's one of the challenges unexpected news offers. I'm wondering what is the appropriate thing to do and I keep coming back to heart. While unexpected news is a shake-up of sorts, it is also a reminder of the heart center or heart chakra we learn about in yoga. My intention is to give of myself, as selflessly as she has, from the heart.
We planted, and the little seedlings took.
They fluttered in the wind, and were visited by bees and butterflies.
The seedlings and plants seemed to enjoy the composted earth and worms, by all indications.
This weekend, I had the pleasure of presenting my new release "Earth Mama's Spiritual Guide to Weight Loss" at Afriware Books and Events, an African-centered bookstore in Maywood, Illinois to a wonderfully receptive audience. Topics covered included making juice from popular soul food fruits and veggies and making mojo bags for self-determination and strength. My daughter Olivia Bird took these action photos:
Thanks to all involved, including Afriware staff, volunteers, my family and the folks who came out on a beautiful Saturday Summer afternoon and supported my work.